A pair of home invasions, which both recently took place on the South Side of Chicago, highlight the injustice (and ineffectiveness) of the Chicago handgun ban.
A 31-year-old man was killed when two armed men entered a Far South Side home and tried to rob people there, police said. The incident happened about 12:30 a.m. in the 12400 block of South Michigan Avenue, said Chicago Police Officer Amina Greer. The armed men, both dressed in black, went into the rear entrance of the home and demanded money from people in the basement, she said. Cordney Jackson, who lives at the address, was shot in the chest when he confronted the men, police said. Police arrived to find Jackson unconscious. He died from his injuries. Calumet Area detectives are investigating the shooting.[Read the full story here.]
An off-duty Chicago police officer shot a burglar who broke into his South Side residence this morning, law enforcement sources said. The officer, who was inside the home when burglars entered the house in the 7600 block of South Vernon Avenue about 9 a.m., shot one of the suspects, the sources said. Shortly after the shooting, a man with a gunshot wound went to St. Bernard Hospital, and detectives were working this morning to confirm whether that man was the burglar who broke into the officer’s home.[Read the full story here.]
Both of these home invasions occurred on the South Side of Chicago, within about a day of each other. The key difference between the two cases is that one of the victims was an off-duty cop, who was allowed by Chicago law to have a gun for self defense, while the other victim was an ordinary Chicago citizen, whose disarmed and defenseless state was guaranteed by Chicago’s gun laws. While the off-duty cop was able to defend himself, the ordinary citizen was fatally shot by a criminal who ignored Chicago gun control laws, just as the criminal ignored the laws against murder, home invasion, and robbery. Sadly, this sort of injustice is nothing new – and I hope that the soon-to-be-decided McDonald v. Chicago case will rectify this unjust situation.
I’ll conclude by briefly addressing the contention that allowing Chicago’s ordinary citizens to have and carry self defense handguns would lead to an even worse situation: Simply put, there is nothing to suggest that would be the case. Firstly, those criminals who want guns clearly have no problem getting them now, and don’t think twice about ignoring the Chicago handgun ban. Secondly, decades of evidence from states across the country shows that law abiding citizens who carry a gun for self defense are not a threat to public safety. Instead, such armed citizens have a proven track record of successfully defending themselves and even saving the lives of cops. Finally, the facts also show that those armed citizens are much less likely than a cop to shoot the wrong person by accident. In sum, there really isn’t a rational objection that can be made to concealed carry, given the decades of empirical evidence which shows its value and lack of a danger to the public.
When will the political machine in Chicago see the light? Law abiding citizens are not the issue. Criminals who do not obey the law are. I just hope no public official has to face one of these criminals before they realize, that people have the right to protect themselves, and can be trusted to do so.
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